Two Sides to Senior Lacrosse

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Photo (left) credits: Evelynne Crumm---Photo (right) credits: Lon Horwedel, https://lonhorwedelphoto.photoshelter.com/

Defenseman Evan Eisman (left) in his sophomore year of high school. Since high school there was a realization that Eisman’s games were limited and the number of games shrunk even more when Covid-19 canceled their season. All the games meant more because you knew they were numbered,” Eisman said. Alison Marshall (right) freshman lacrosse picture. This picture was taken at the beginning of Alison’s freshman lacrosse season at this time delete space lacrosse started to get more serious for her. When I was a freshman, I didn’t say anything or talk to people I didn’t know. But now, I feel comfortable reaching out to people that I don’t know. I put a lot of work in when I was a freshman, and I’ve kept that effort up throughout the years.” Marshall said.

The last time senior Evan Eisman, Skyline High School men’s lacrosse captain. The last time he wore his #7 game jersey was two years ago in May of 2019 — his sophomore year. Covid-19 has prevented him from gathering with his teammates, which he says is frustrating.

“We haven’t been able to get together as a team,” Eisman said. “And go over what we’re going to try to do this year. Not many people want to be on Zoom calls with the team and we can’t even do as much as we’d like at practice. It’s March 3rd, and we just started having contact. Our season is less than a month away.”

Evan Eisman’s lacrosse life started in second grade. His first team was the Ann Arbor Blue Jays, and he continued playing for the Blue Jays until middle school. He played with Premier Lacrosse Group (PLG), a travel team until the summer of his sophomore year. Instead of playing for PLG his junior year of high school, he played Skyline football 

He then started playing for Skyline High School as a defenseman. He was on JV freshman year and played Varsity starting his sophomore year. 

“The game changed in high school,” Eisman said. “The intensity increased, and all the games meant more because you knew they were numbered. That realization that I don’t have as many games left as I think I do.  I’ve put more effort and worked harder knowing that my games are numbered.”

In high school, some underclassmen look up to upperclassmen for inspiration and help; that was the case for Eisman. He realized when he became an upperclassman he took on that role.

“There are a lot of people that I looked up to as upperclassmen, and now they’re all gone. It’s just my peers that I’ve been playing with for a long time.” Eisman said

All of Eisman’s years of practices, games, and teamwork have led him to be a captain as a senior. As a captain, he strives to build a team with connection and communication because that is key to a functional team; however, Covid-19 has made this difficult.

“The lack of connection and communication during Covid-19 has had a huge effect on our team. The biggest thing Covid-19 has affected on our team is our skill level,”  Eisman said. “Even though everyone on the team holds themselves accountable physically to stay in shape and get better, it’s hard when we have not been playing.”

Not only have skills been affected, but the team dynamic and comradery have been negatively affected. 

“Giving each other high fives and patting each other on the helmet. Those are just the little things that encourage each other. We haven’t been able to do any of that, and everything all adds up. Not being able to encourage each other like usual has been challenging and is another example of how Covid-19 has disrupted our team functioning.” Eisman said.

Throughout Eisman’s years of playing, he has learned and noticed that team sports are about trusting your teammates. “You cannot win a game by yourself. I have a tendency when I’m clearing the ball or playing defense alongside to shadeless. If I know that Zach Pachera is guarding, or Jamie’s up the field. The confidence in the people I’ve been playing with for so long is very high” Eisman said. Eisman is close with his fellow seniors whom he has been playing with since third grade.

Eisman says Covid-19 has not only made it harder to do their everyday practice routine, but it has also made it harder to connect and communicate with fellow players. Covid-19 also changed season preparations and the way games are going to be played throughout this season. As of now, lacrosse teams will have to wear masks however the other restrictions and some rules regarding games are still undecided. 

“You know, [just to] breathe just in general, especially when you’re gassed. But that’s just something that I guess we have to adapt to,” said Eisman.

Alison Marshall is a senior at Skyline High School and one of their lacrosse captains on the women’s lacrosse team. The last time she played midfield wearing her game jersey was her sophomore year.

Alison Marshall’s lacrosse journey started in fourth grade when she began playing for the Blue Jays.

“At the start, I had no clue what I was doing. It was still fun, but at the end, I liked it even more because I knew everyone and knew how to play,” Marshall said

Marshall was able to find joy in the game even though she just started playing. While playing for the Blue Jays until eighth grade, she found a love for the game and decided to continue playing through high school.

The game changed once she started high school. It became even more important and started to get serious.

“Starting high school, it just became a lot more serious and important to me. And then I realized after being on Varsity, I just really enjoyed it. Senior year, I wanted to be a captain,” Marshall said.

According to Marshall, it was difficult because of how the game changed and her struggles with communication due to her past of being shy. “Starting high school lacrosse has become more important and serious than it ever was in the past. I was shy at first, but I found my voice as I got older,” Marshall said.

Marshall has played with some of the same people and friends since she started playing or near the time she started. This helped her become a more comfortable player.

“I have been playing with a lot of the same people for a long time, and it’s made me more comfortable on the field because I know how they play,” said Marshall

After striving to achieve her goal with hard work and putting in as much effort as possible, Marshall became captain.

“I feel like I have a lot more authority, and I feel comfortable making decisions for the team. I’m trying to reach out to new people. When I was a freshman, I didn’t say anything or talk to people I didn’t know. But now, I feel comfortable reaching out to people that I don’t know. I put a lot of work in when I was a freshman, and I’ve kept that effort up throughout the years.” Marshall said.

Being captain Marshall has to fulfill specific roles, primarily leading and communicating.

“We’re the ones that communicate between the coaches and the players. So anything that our coach wants us to do or wants the team to do, they will first talk to us about it. And then we will reach out to the team; Normally, we would lead stretches or warm-ups. Just being there because we’ve all had the most experience, being a resource for the players, if they have any questions or need help, or helping them with skills, we don’t make decisions for the team but will help the coach make decisions” Marshall said.

With Covid-19, the Skyline women’s lacrosse team currently can not see anyone. The team is having trouble communicating with incoming freshmen and getting the word out about the season starting.

“Freshmen don’t even know that we’re having a meeting, and it’s been hard to get in touch with the freshman because we don’t know them. We’ve been trying to get people’s attention, but we are still working on that,” Marshall said.

Covid-19 has changed how practices occur and will enforce new rules for the season’s entirety.

“You have to wear a mask at all times. No sharing anythingespecially water bottles. The coach mentioned, we have to clean everything. Like the balls and all the equipment that we handle,” Marshall said.

Adjusting to masks will be difficult initially, but she thinks everyone will be a little more comfortable playing with a mask after some time.

Men’s and women’s lacrosse are different in some ways, mainly when it comes to contact. Marshall stated that women’s lacrosse doesn’t have much contact, and Eisman noted that men’s lacrosse is very physical. However, both seniors had put in as much effort as possible from when they started until now, and it shows through in both situations. Right now, men’s and women’s lacrosse both share the fact that Covid-19 has put a strain on many things: communication, connection, and the regular and preseason games and practices. Overall these two senior lacrosse captains have tried their best to adapt to the situations and learn what they want as captains and as a team through their history of lacrosse.